What is graphic design? It’s the art or skill of combining text and pictures to create visual concepts – communicating ideas that inform and inspire potential business customers. Using computer software, the overall layout and production design is developed for various applications.

What is graphic design used for? Read on…

These elements comprise of:

  • Colour and line
  • Shape and size
  • Texture and form
  • Space

The principles of graphic design being:

  • Balance and emphasis
  • Movement and pattern
  • Repetition and the proportion
  • Rhythm and variety
  • Unity
Design of a menu

The Basics of Graphic Design

The elements in graphic design are used in conjunction or opposition to create the most visually striking and powerful models.

Types of Graphic Design

The type of graphic design you choose will depend on the area you’ll be specialising in. This could be design services for your business or solving problems through imagery and form. Look at different types of graphic design below:

Marketing and Advertising – helping businesses and organisations to promote their products and services more effectively. Marketing graphic design includes:

  • Brochures
  • Banners
  • Email marketing templates
  • Images for blogs and websites
  • Magazine and newspaper adverts
  • Menus
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Posters and billboards
  • Social media ads
  • Vehicle wraps
Wedding menu design

Visual Identity – using a brand name to communicate a consistent message about the services and products delivered by a business. Here the visual elements act as the face of the brand to represent the company personality on business cards, corporate stationery, and much more.

Publication – communicating via public distribution this specialist form of graphic design can be used to create layouts with carefully chosen typography and related artwork. This can be used for:

  • Books and magazines
  • Newspapers and newsletters
  • Catalogues and directories

User Interface – processing interfaces to make them easy to use and provide a user-friendly experience. By focusing on the visual practice of using a desktop or mobile apps, or games, for example, this user interface graphic design option can also be used for web page and theme design.

Motion – creating graphics that are in motion includes animation, imagery, and online media. This relatively new speciality can be found across all digital platforms including TV adverts and trailers, presentations, promotional videos, and video games.

Packaging – developing and creating print-ready files for packaging allows direct communication to potential customers, making this form an extremely valuable marketing tool. Packaging used for protection, storage, distribution, and sale all fall under this category.

Environmental – connecting people to places by improving experiences – and making spaces more interesting and informative. Examples of environmental graphic design can be found in:

  • Signage and wall murals
  • Event and conference spaces
  • Museum exhibitions
  • Interiors of retail stores
  • Office and stadium branding

The Graphic Design Process

Graphic design process requires the right tools. See a list of essentials below…

  • A sketchbook to record ideas and rough drafts
  • A computer
  • Recommended software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign

A graphic designer also needs ideas and inspiration to work on paper first and then use the computer to bring these concepts to life. As the internet is increasingly used for fast and easy services this is just one of the reasons why graphic design is important. Understanding how to create visually compelling graphics is key – as this increases marketplace potential.

Graphic design can also:

  • Establish the company name
  • Improve sales
  • Increase market confidence
  • Express a specific message
  • Create professionalism
  • Make a powerful persuasion
 graphic designer work

The Job of the Graphic Designer

A graphic designer role can take many forms determined by the special set of skills obtained in training. Careers with design can range from multimedia design to photo editor or animator. What do graphic designers do? Take a look…

Top graphic design jobs include:

Multimedia designer – using art and design skills to create videos, audio and animated images in television, film production, or other multimedia fields

Logo designerdesigning company logos that represent the business image with unique and memorable designs

Web designer – making decisions regarding page content, graphics, navigation, and continuity requiring skills in computer and internet technology

Creative/ Art director – ensuring every member of the creative team completes work by deadlines and meets customer satisfaction, advanced training in graphic design ensures artwork and design can be completed

Photo-editing – the software allows the taking of digital photos or images and edit and enhances with different tools and techniques, as well as scanning old photos and slides